The Joy of Ex

I didn’t know when I was divorcing that I’d eventually come out the other side happier. I didn’t know that I’d come to love and appreciate and respect my co-parent again, in a fresh and true and far more sustainable way. I didn’t know that my son would would thrive. I didn’t know how incredibly resourced, powerful, and courageous I … Read More

I Wish Someone Had Told Me

I wish someone had told me: You will throw up before and after every divorce negotiation call for a year. You will lose half of your hair, and it will grow back gray in a halo of friz. You will go into unbelievable, unprecedented debt. Your son will ask you to see “the happy face,” and you will see in … Read More

Letting your eyes adjust to the light

Sometimes you need grief to rust a lock open. And lawyers to say things so ugly that the ground on which your marriage lived will never send up another false flower. And you need to prop up what can no longer stand into art or forgiveness, some kind of distance that lets your eyes actually adjust to the light.

A Mother’s Day Blessing for the Single Mother

You are an extraordinary mother. Every day, you do what you can do—and it is enough. The homework, the garbage, the dishes, the laundry, the pets, the yard, the carpools, the roof that needs repair, the friendship that needs repair, the deadlines, the discipline, the bruised egos and broken bones. You take care of it all. Every day and every night. … Read More

How to eat an elephant

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Let’s  put aside the disgrace of actually eating an elephant and focus on the metaphoric value of this little aphorism. Many of us experience divorce as an “elephant in the room” that somehow takes over the whole house. Digesting the meaning and impact of this runaway elephant is not … Read More

There comes a time

There comes a time when what happened in your marriage is simply a sad, sweet story. And what happened in your divorce is its sad sweet climax, followed by the sad, sweet denouement of co-parenting. And you love those stories as you love your dear, old dying dog who has defended every threshold you have crossed for the past 13 … Read More

Tomorrow is Another Day

It was a perfect storm: The anniversary of the end of my pregnancy and marriage. PMS. The veterinarian telling me my dog had maybe a week to live. An out-of-town teaching engagement bookended by two intensely demanding weeks at work. Because the greater hell would be to lose my dog while away than to lose my reputation, I cancelled the … Read More

Unbearable Lightness of Being (Single)

I was headed to the food carts downtown at work. As I walked passed the shoe shop’s great window bank, I was surprised by the experience of my own reflection. There was my familiar and friendly face, well worn, rising up out of my giant, gray scarf knotted beneath my chin. I looked so…complete. I had my $5 and I … Read More

Let being excluded turn your attention to where you are included

Joli and I were poets in New York together in our early 20’s, and now we are middle-aged single moms who went through our divorces in parallel, each from our own coast. Once upon a time, we would talk about what Joli thought Derrida meant when he said such-and-such, or what I thought about why her boyfriend gave her headaches—the … Read More

You are Worthy of Gratitude, Deserving of Welcome

Remember when you met your child for the first time and marveled at the possibilities of who this new person would unfurl to become? You have the same opportunity right now, with yourself. Divorce is a death, and it is also a birth. The woman who brought you into your marriage has to give way to the woman who will … Read More